"Bound Requiem" Group Show/Matt Dangler "Grace" Opening Receptions

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Matt Dangler, Group Show
"Bound Requiem" Group Show/Matt Dangler "Grace" Opening Receptions

325 West 38th St.
between 8th & 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10018
December 14th, 2013 - January 18th, 2014
Opening: December 14th, 2013 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM

Tue-Sat 2-9; Sun 2-6
figurative, landscape, pop, surrealism, traditional, digital, sculpture, photography, mixed-media, installation


"Bound Requiem" Guest Curated by Michael Mararian
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 14th, 7 - 11pm
Exhibition runs through January 18th, 2014

New York (December 14th, 2013) — Last Rites Gallery presents “Bound Requiem”, a group exhibition, guest curated by Michael Mararian, in which the paper bound book is interpreted in contemporaneous times. The concept of recorded writing dates as far back as Ancient Mesopotamia, if not farther, and continues through most societies into modern day. Although content varied, these reproductions of information served a number of communicative purposes, including record keeping, laws, sacred writings, philosophical teachings and narratives. In current day, the book continues to serve the aforementioned functions but the tangibility of information has changed drastically. As its digital competitors rival the paper bound book, the need and significance of printed material has begun to lose the practicality and desirability for many.

The participating artists in “Bound Requiem” look to this current change of the dissemination of information due to the technological age, and offer their own thoughts on what many view as “the death of the book”. As the title suggests, some offer a eulogy, while others celebrate and prolong the life of the book. Artistic freedom is granted to each artist as some paint directly on covers, while others dig into the book itself and fuse their own art within the bound cavity. Some choose to take bits and pieces from varied printed material and blend it with their own technique of painting and collage to give the physical book itself new purpose; the book itself becomes the medium. The wealth of creativity continues as each artist shares their thoughts, nostalgia and a part of themselves to rouse the bounded book.

Artists include: Tom Bagshaw, C3, Sas & Colin Christian, Luke Chueh, Chris Crites, Jason D’Aquino, Joe Decamillis, AJ Fries, Ray Geary, Naoto Hattori, Sylvia Ji, Craig LaRotonda, Scott Lickstein, Lola, Dave MacDowell, Michael Mararian, Amanda Marie, Julian Montague, Eric Richardson, Alexander Korzer-Robinson, Elisha Sarti, Mike Stilkey, David Stoupakis, Elizabeth Winnel and Genevive Zacconi


Matt Dangler, "Grace"
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 14th, 7 - 11pm
Exhibition runs through January 18th, 2014

New York (December 14th, 2013) — Last Rites Gallery presents Grace, new works by Matt Dangler, in what will be his first solo show at the gallery and will feature seven paintings focusing on his interpretation of “Grace”. In this series, Dangler’s compositions are executed in a multi layer technique motivated by Flemish-Dutch Masters, and feature his whimsically inviting narratives of fantastical creatures and foreign lands. Dangler draws from many wells of inspiration, including Zen Buddhism, Classical Painting, Surrealism and Existentialism.

New to this series is the inclusion of the human figure independent of chimeric offshoots. Dangler’s recognizable hybrid creatures still maintain a strong presence and continue to serve as intrinsic manifestations of the psyche to support the perpetual narratives present in each painting. Grace weaves a tale of a journey we endlessly embark on as human beings. Cognitively, we have the opportunity to evaluate our decisions, which differentiates us greatly from other organisms, yet at the same time, this mental restriction can often hinder us from the raw emotion and true drive of our individual progress or enlightenment. Dangler explains:

“The show explores death and rebirth, both in the physical and spiritual sense... focusing on the inner world of emotions and psychological transformations that occur. I've found that through the darker times in life, especially when caving pressure and pain is unbearable, we are given the opportunity to surrender ourselves from an identity with thoughts and ego. Forming too strong of an identity with labels and convincing ourselves that the present moment should be anything other than what it is, will close doors that lead to inner freedom. Rather than living in a mental construction of how things should be, "Grace" comes with living in total acceptance."

Each painting in this series represents various states of being: flux and balance, decision and indecision, peace and war. The voyage commences with a dark moment common to all life, “loss”, as seen in “The Ego Seed” and concludes with the natural and harmonious outcomes present in both “Balance” and “Rebirth”. With every thought and choice, we may evolve, or we may regress. With each phase, Dangler questions what society and civilization has manifested as essential mental constructs and asks us to just be, so we may all independently journey and reach our own, true form of “Grace”.

Matt Dangler graduated in 2006 with a BFA in Illustration from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is the recipient of many awards, including the “Kennedy Award for Representation of the Human Figure” and the “Roger T. Hane Illustration Prize”. Dangler’s work appears in numerous publications and private collections.